When we think of wearables, we usually think of fancy Apple watches, or Reebok wristbands designed to track movement, heart rate, and other health-related statistics. While many assume that wearables are only dedicated to fitness, a new market for the devices is quickly emerging – the health care field. In a recent study, employees at 14 large employers indicated they are ready for wearables at work, according to data from Jiff. Offering a variety of uses, nurses are using wearables in healthcare to communicate as well as track their personal health information, while patients are using them as a recovery and monitoring method for health conditions.
More Than Watches
While many assume that wearables are just smart watches or wristbands, the market is actually quite diverse when it comes to healthcare. A new device that monitors back movement and pain are coming onto the market as well as wearables in healthcare that target the knees, and even smart contact lenses.
Their versatility and portability appeal to consumers and make them a consideration for providers that want to cut down on in-person visits and allow physicians to remotely check in on patients. These products can allow both the patient as well as healthcare providers to monitor progress as well as any setbacks or issues that may arise. Nurses can quickly examine a database of information without even having to see the patient in the flesh. This can raise red flags and save a lot of needless doctor visits.
Wearables in Healthcare Worth Checking Out
It looks like a bigger version of your traditional fitness tracker, but Omron’s device is great for monitoring a variety of health concerns. The Project Zero wrist-worn health wearable is a subtle and clinically accurate blood pressure monitor (BPM) that provides real-time blood pressure readings. Not only that, the device also monitors steps, heart rate, and calories burned as well.
These sleek looking goggles actually monitor a patient’s vision strength as they recover from orbital operations. Healthcare providers can use the vision test to assess eyesight and detect concussions and performance problems. The Neuro Vision tool, launched in October 2015, uses vision tracking to determine whether someone has had a head injury within the previous six months.
Keep an eye on wearables in healthcare to see if it makes it’s way into athletic competitions and other activities that have a high rate of concussions.
Smart clothing is now a new category in wearables in healthcare that will monitor a variety of vital signs. Whether you’re working up a sweat at the gym, or just going about your daily routine, these clothes have built-in sensors to track heart rate, calories burned, and the amount of sleep you’re getting. Transmitted to a mobile app, patients, and/or nurses can easily get a sense of how active they are throughout the day.
One of the most ambitious on the market, this wearable in healthcare is designed to treat those suffering from chronic pain. The infrared light penetrates tissue and causes the body to release natural pain relief. Each therapy session lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, and the device is temperature controlled to protect the wearer. Whether or not it works remains to be seen, but the ambitious device gives us a glimpse at the future.
Wearables in Healthcare For Nurses
Nurses can use any of these wearables on the job and it can even present a great example for patients. If they see that you’re willing to adopt these devices, they will be more inclined to try them out as well. Although the prices for some of the devices might be a little steep, it could save visits to the doctor in the long run.